Take Time to Laugh

In a few weeks, we will celebrate 25-years of meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those we serve with our Third Annual Laughter is the Best Medicine event. I love this event because it embodies so much of what we strive to do each day at His Hands Free Clinic. We want each individual we serve to leave the clinic feeling better than they did when they came in  – both in body and in spirit.

Many years ago, Dr. Patch Adams opened a free community hospital in West Virginia. The core of his mission and belief was that laughter and play are key elements to health and healing. Inspired by his philosophy, Laughter is the Best Medicine was created to improve the body and the spirit of those that attend, but also to raise funds so that we may provide that same joyful care to those we serve. I personally love how this event reminds me how important it is to laugh.

The world is full of hurt and suffering. The recent hurricanes in the Texas, Florida and the Caribbean have made reminded us of this. While we need to support those who are suffering, it is so important to not allow ourselves to only see the negative. I know I need to laugh more as does much of our society. Researchers Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanely Tan from the Loma Linda University in California write that “laughter can help us live longer.” When you laugh endorphins are released in the brain and trigger a feeling of well-being throughout your entire body. The diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs, and even the liver are given a massage during a hearty laugh.

In addition, the Bible affirms the healing power of laughter when it says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” This suggests that laughter holds as much healing power as medicine. Is it any wonder that those who laugh frequently often live longer than those who do not? I’ve also read that laughter is a buffer against depression. It can improve self-esteem, reduce loneliness, increase bonding with others and improve pain tolerance.

I challenge you to join me for Third Annual Laughter is the Best Medicine on October 2, at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. Make a resolution to start laughing more while improving your health and the health of those around you.